From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Monkey Pox
Mains level : Zoonotic Diseases
The UK health authorities have confirmed a case of Monkeypox, which is a virus passed from infected animals such as rodents to humans, in someone with a recent travel history to Nigeria where they are believed to have caught it.
What is Monkeypox?
- The monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus, which is a genus of viruses that also includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox, and vaccinia virus, which was used in the smallpox vaccine.
- It causes symptoms similar to smallpox, although they are less severe.
- While vaccination eradicated smallpox worldwide in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in a swathe of countries in Central and West Africa, and has on occasion showed up elsewhere.
- According to the WHO, two distinct clade are identified: the West African clade and the Congo Basin clade, also known as the Central African clade.
- Monkeypox is a zoonosis, that is, a disease that is transmitted from infected animals to humans.
- Monkeypox virus infection has been detected in squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, and some species of monkeys.
- According to the WHO, cases occur close to tropical rainforests inhabited by animals that carry the virus.
Symptoms and treatment
- Monkeypox begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, back ache, and exhaustion.
- It also causes the lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy), which smallpox does not.
- The WHO underlines that it is important to not confuse monkeypox with chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis and medication-associated allergies.
- The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
- There is no safe, proven treatment for monkeypox yet.